Exceptional Customer Service
How to make "exceptional customer service" a business reality
What are the attributes of exceptional customer service
All businesses generally share certain goals for customer care. They want the customer to feel welcome, to enjoy transactions with the company, to continue doing business, and to refer the company to friends and associates.
Customers that write positive reviews on the company website or at commercial and business directory websites are an added bonus, as these often influence the public at large to consider doing business with a company.
Unique characteristics of customer care in certain businesses
What do your customers need/want?
Collecting relevant data
The importance of customer contact information
Customer purchase history
Understanding user history
Customer surveys are the key to how customers view their experiences with your business.
Surveys can be collected in various ways. Company associates can informally ask questions during routine procedures in the reception area or checkout line. Telephone surveys to random customers or as a follow-up to a recent visit or company interaction can be extremely helpful. Email is often used for surveys and questionnaires to customers, often with an incentive included, such as a discount on a future purchase.
Additional types of surveys include mailed surveys sent for specific follow-up to a particular transaction or event. Face-to-face interviews are occasionally conducted in a Customer Service department when someone has a question or problem. Sometimes a manager will follow up to ask if a recent experience was positive, and if the customer has suggestions for improvement.
Social media and crowdsourced reviews
Most organizations take advantage of social media to inform the public, interact with customers, and attract new business. Consumers today often prefer using social media for business updates and to post questions or get feedback. Chat options allow customers to interact with company representatives online. They can share opinions that are often promptly addressed to save transportation time or phone waiting time. Customers can also read reviews posted by others for a better idea of how the company is perceived.
Even negative reviews can be beneficial. Negative posts show the company's open-minded attitude in sharing them with the public. In addition, complaints posted on social media allow a company to respond and make things right to show the public a good example of customer service, and give the organization direct, actionable feedback on what specifically is preventing positive customer experiences.
The value of customer feedback
Using feedback to define excellent customer service shows customers that the company cares about their opinions and is willing to listen and genuinely improve.
Leveraging customer feedback and patterns give customers a voice in helping the company to meet their needs. In turn, this encourages others to do business with a company that demonstrates caring and concern for its customers. The business environment becomes win-win rather than dog-eat-dog. Exceptional customer service should be the hallmark of every company to ensure satisfaction for everyone involved.
With an increasingly isolated cultural environment, due in part to social media that encourages Internet over face-to-face interactions, many people are looking for ways to connect to others in public organizations. They appreciate feeling part of something important, and they are more willing to conduct business with companies that care and listen.